Mann: Police Probe Will It Involve The Chief Contstable And AG Office?

MANN: POLICE PROBE WILL IT INVOLVE THE CHIEF CONSTABLE AND AGs OFFICE?

The head of the Isle of Man constabulary is reported to have initiated a disciplinary probe following recent criticisms by a Deemster (High Court Judge) following a court case which was dropped because the police investigation included alleged `multiple serious failures’.

The Deemster (Moran) described the failures as `almost a complete dereliction of duty’.

Now members of the Isle of Man legislature, Tynwald, have been told the Chief Constable’s probe can either `identify areas where lessons could be learned’ or hold individual officers to account.

However, the Chief Constables action raises more questions than it answers. If a case collapses so catastrophically is it not possibly due to shortcomings at them highest level i.e. in the Chief Constables Office in failing to ensure that adequate checks and balances were not in place to ensure `serious failures’ did not occur.

If this is the case an independent inquiry which could address that aspect (such as might occur via the IPCC in the UK) is more appropriate.

Also unclear at this stage are possible failings in the Attorney General (AG) Office as generally their involvement is a prerequisite before prosecutions are brought.

No doubt it is a useful sound-bite to placate Tynwald members for police bosses to announce a `probe’ but that probe should not simply focus on those of more junior rank.

It should not be a witch-hunt seeking scapegoats but should involve all those who have a responsibility in this matter.

After all the buck stops at the Chief Constable’s desk – and in the AGs Office!

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

21/05/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It worksn to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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